Game Review: A new life for old video games

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For some video games, what's old is new again.

Following last year's re-release of "Halo 2," ''The Last of Us" and "Grand Theft Auto V," several other titles — and one hand-held device — are receiving similar resurrections in 2015.

A look at recent revivals:

— "Grim Fandango Remastered": The treasured 1998 adventure game has been lovingly restored for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PC with better graphics, a new point-and-click interface and a freshly recorded orchestral soundtrack performed by the Melbourne Symphony. While searching for clues in the game's Land of the Dead locale feels a bit dated by today's standards, that dry "Grim Fandango" wit still holds up 17 years later. Three stars out of four.

— "Saints Row IV: Re-Elected": Other than voice commands and slightly smoother graphics, not much change has come to this refreshed edition of the zany "Grand Theft Auto" spoof for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It's only worth a purchase for die-hard "Saints Row" fans who missed the fourth chapter in 2013, or for those who desire a bundle with all the game's downloadable bonus content, including the new afterlife-set addition, "Gat Out of Hell." Two stars.

— "Resident Evil HD Remaster": The landmark 1996 survival horror game has been rebuilt for new PCs and consoles, making creepy Spencer Mansion feel even creepier in 1080p resolution. The designers have smartly appealed to purists and modern players alike by including the option to switch between original and updated controls, as well as aspect ratios. It's not quite "The Walking Dead," but "Resident Evil" still delivers zombie thrills. Three-and-a-half stars.

— New Nintendo 3DS XL: Nintendo has made over the large version of its glasses-free 3-D hand-held doodad with a faster processor, secondary analog stick, shoulder buttons, eye-tracking capability for improved 3-D viewing and a sensor that can recognize "amiibo" figures. Bizarrely, a power adapter isn't included, and the redesign annoyingly hides the unit's micro-card slot underneath the back of the 3DS. Still, it's an impeccable improvement overall. Three stars.

— Other remastered games due this year: new-gen renditions of the role-playing entries "Final Fantasy Type-0" and "Final Fantasy X/X-2"; a compilation of the "Homeworld" sci-fi strategy series called "The Homeworld Remastered Collection"; versions of "The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask" and "Xenoblade Chronicles" optimized for the New Nintendo 3DS XL; and the re-invigorated hack-and-slash game "Devil May Cry," dubbed "DmC: Definitive Edition."


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